How it all began
What a journey it's been, and we're only just getting started!
Back in 2013, we started Nunawading Japanese School. In the early days we’d rush around Melbourne in our little Honda teaching students in homes, libraries, offices, even McDonalds! Obviously not the ideal environments. Very soon we realised it was time for us to find a permanent place of our own in the eastern suburbs.
Very quickly we found ourselves working 12 hour days, 7 days a week. It was an extremely challenging time for us . We’d teach back to back lessons all day from 9am – 9pm while developing our school’s curriculum outside of these hours. It has taken over 10 years to create what we have built and the work has not finished. Our course is forever evolving.
Looking back we wouldn’t change a thing. For those of you who know us, we don’t do things half-heartedly. It’s all or nothing. Since day one we have given everything to ensure the ongoing success of our Japanese school. With a lot of late nights, hard work and a little luck, we’ve managed to create something very special that will be around for years to come.
It all started from within a tiny office
The first classroom (yes just one) consisted of a small table, 3 chairs and a whiteboard. From humble beginnings, we now have 6 classrooms with 300+ actively enrolled students all managed by our wonderful team of teachers. It hasn’t been easy though. There have been many blows along the way. But as the saying goes “In every crisis lies great opportunity“.
Take covid-19 for example. We had never intended to run online Japanese classes. But like many businesses we had no choice. The school embraced online quickly (thanks for a certain individual…..yes you know who you are 😉) . Moving an entire Japanese school online was not something we had planned. It was frantic. Trying to find headsets, webcams even a modem was nearly impossible due to shortages. The shelves were all empty….
The biggest thing that stood out during this crazy time was the overwhelming amount of support from our students. You’re all like family to us and it’s something we will never forget.
Nowadays we’ve fine tuned how online is facilitated. We’ve invested into the best equipment and redesigned how we deliver our course online. As of today we have students attending our online classes from all over Australia, even Japan, Hong Kong, China, New Zealand and so on.
But the true heroes are our wonderful teachers. They all share in our school’s vision and want the best for our students. Over the years the school’s success would not have been possible without their help. Oh how could we forget the most important member of our team Maru The Red Shiba Inu (well he thinks he is of course).
Home sweet home
We are very proud to be situated within the Whitehorse Community Area and have now called Nunawading home since 2017. The school’s physical classrooms are located at 8 & 8A Wood Street Nunawading. Our online classrooms are located EVERYWHERE!… With a 50+ year sister city relationship between Whitehorse City Council and Matsudo City in Japan, we couldn’t think of a better place in Melbourne to call home.
It truly is amazing how many Australians are in love with Japan. We had never imagined there would be so much interest with learning the Japanese language. It really is a privilege to be able to provide such a fun and rewarding cultural experience for our students.
We wish every one of our students a rewarding, life changing experience. Time and time again, we have witnessed student’s lives completely change since starting to learn the Japanese language. Their worlds open up, opportunities come to them. Some students have married Japanese and now live/run businesses in Japan. Others have formed very successful businesses in Australia that deal directly with Japan.
“Japan is the most intoxicating place for me. The Japanese culture fascinates me: the food, the dress, the manners and the traditions. It’s the travel experience that has moved me the most.” — Roman Coppola